From the artfully twisted minds of The League of Gentleman’s Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith comes this second series of amusing vignettes in confined spaces. The first “number nine” is a sleeper train carriage somewhere on the way to France, in which an ode to Murder on the Orient Express plays out with great theatricality. Shearsmith stars as a pedantic doctor. As an Australian backpacker, British actress Jessica Gunning (Jericho) displays a faultless accent.
Double episode ***
This veteran doctors-and-nurses soap ensures the sexual tension simmers at all times. Before the first patient presents, the staff are making eyes at each other, coining the term “pants feelings”, and trying to set each other up over the operating table. It just wouldn’t be Seattle Grace otherwise. Tonight, the new chief-of-staff puts several noses out of joint, and a rare syndrome with a disproportionately high prevalence on hospital dramas is diagnosed.
Having established that overbearing dad, Mr Black (Stephen Curry), is an odious creature of the sort that inspired ’90s comedy pop single, Asshole, the script explores just how wrongheaded he is with a storyline involving the Sudanese neighbours. Strangely enough, his racism isn’t funny. His relentless insulting of his daughter’s partner is also wearing thin. Let’s hope this bully gets his comeuppance soon. Eddie McGuire makes a decent cameo as himself.
Bridget McManus is a television writer and critic for Green Guide. She was deputy editor of Green Guide from 2006 to 2010 and now also writes features and interviews for Life & Style in The Saturday Age and M magazine in The Sunday Age.